Brands Use Instagram Stories More Than Twice as Often as Snapchat

InstagramSnapchatiPhoneIconsFeatured-640x460Can Instagram finally eat Snapchat’s lunch once and for all? According to a new report from L2, brands are uploading to Instagram Stories more than twice as often as they are on Snapchat.

The firm tracked 89 brands who have both an Instagram and Snapchat account during July, finding that marketers posted 1,347 Instagram Stories compared to 614 Snapchat Stories. During the week of July 10, for example, 41 percent of marketers used Instagram Stories compared to 9 percent of brands who posted to Snapchat.

Moreover, Snapchat Stories are concentrated to a smaller section of brands, namely beauty and hair care marketers. Seventy-two percent of the Snapchat Stories analyzed came from beauty brands while retailers made up 13 percent of snaps. Travel, automotive, consumer electronics and activewear made up the remaining 15 percent.

On Instagram Stories, beauty and hair care brands made up 38 percent of the posts analyzed while retailers generated 26 percent of Stories. Luxury and consumer-packaged-goods marketers posted 21 percent of content. The other 15 percent of content came from activewear, consumer electronics and other types of marketers.

“As Instagram becomes the mainstream choice for brand Stories, Snapchat risks being niche-ified,” wrote L2 in the report.

Snapchat has been under fire from Instagram for more than a year, as the Facebook-owned app has steadily ripped off Snapchat’s features while increasing its users thanks to support and targeting tools from Facebook’s ecosystem. In June, Instagram reported 250 million daily users for Stories while Snap said it had 166 million daily users during its first earnings call in May.

While Snapchat has added tools for its users like links, “Instagram has integrated ecommerce handoff technology into Stories, namely swipe-up links leading to brand sites, linked influencer tags, and checkout buttons that support brand efforts to move beyond engagement metrics and render their live video content shoppable,” L2 noted in the report. “Snapchat, meanwhile, has made few adjustments to its Stories content tools, limiting the ability of brands to leverage owned content for ecommerce.”

The report also analyzed Facebook Live videos and L2 tracked 45,000 videos from 426 brands that were uploaded between August 2016 and June 2017. The firm found that 4.4 percent of brands’ uploaded videos in June were created with Facebook Live, up from 1 percent in August 2016. Luxury was the top category for brands using Facebook Live, making up 22 percent of the clips uploaded. Automotive made up 20 percent, activewear generated 14 percent and beauty brands uploaded 11 percent of the clips.

There’s still some work to be done around making sure that people see branded Live videos in newsfeeds though—unless you want to pay.

Per L2, 78 percent of Facebook Live video views were paid, an increase from 57 percent in November 2016. L2 pointed to Samsung as an example of a brand pouring money into Facebook Live—the manufacturer spent nearly $3 million on Facebook ads during the first quarter of 2017 as it launched the Galaxy 8 smartphone. A 90-minute livestream of the brand’s Unpacked event included paid promotion and racked up 1.6 million views and 14,000 shares.

Snapchat is becoming the social network it never wanted to be

https-blueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.comuploadscardimage528340543cbcbb-256a-4d12-b852-72baadd7888cEven though Snapchat tends to get lumped in with other social platforms, it’s never really been much of a social network — until now.

While Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like thrive off the vast amounts of (often public) frenetic sharing that happens on their networks each day, Snapchat has made no secret that its users turn to it for a different type of interaction.

Rather than the megaphone of Twitter or the popularity contest that’s Instagram, Snap has prided itself on the large volume of private sharing it sees, its users’ “creativity” and the fact that its app enables a kind of authenticity not found elsewhere on social media.

Snapchat has embraced this with an app that’s been far more closed off than any of its counterparts. Until Stories launched in 2013, there was no way at all for users to publicly share any updates at all and even then the feature got off to a slow start. The app eschewed other common “social” features, too.

While select publishers (including Mashable) can produce content for Discover, and advertisers can sell ads in Discover or between Stories, the company has done little to court influencers and smaller outfits. Snapchat still lacks a formal verification system, other than the emoji-based “official stories” that’s still reserved for the app’s biggest names.

But if Snapchat is still embracing its role as the anti-social network social network, you wouldn’t know it from its recent updates. On Wednesday, the company announced that it would allow anyone to share links within any snap they share with friends or post to their Story.

That may not sound like a huge change in itself but it stands to be hugely significant to brands, publishers, and any influencer not well-known enough to be verified or part of Discover. On a philosophical level, it also raises questions about whether Snap is finally starting to admit that it is, in fact, a real social media company after all (despite Spiegel’s insistence that Snap is “a camera company”).

Read full article here.

Instagram Stories is still growing quickly and now has 250 million users

snapchat_vs_instagram_stories_01Instagram Stories is picking up steam.

The company reported Tuesday that Stories, the feature that lets users share videos and posts that disappear after 24 hours, is now used by 250 million people every day. That means Stories added 50 million new users in two months, one month faster than its jump from 150 million to 200 million users.

Instagram is also changing its live video feature so users can now share those live videos to their Stories. Originally, live videos on Instagram disappeared as soon as the broadcast ended, but now they could exist for up to 24 hours.

Facebook loves to tout these big user growth milestones, but the significance here is that Instagram’s version of Stories appears to be growing faster than it was at the beginning of the year. (Instagram reports these numbers whenever it wants, though, so it’s tough to say for sure.)

The new milestone means almost 100 million more people use Instagram Stories than use Snapchat, the actual inventor of the Stories format. That’s a bummer for Snapchat, because they clearly invented something that people want to use — Instagram has just scaled it more quickly.

McDonald’s to hire more U.S. workers this summer, some via Snapchat

McDonald’s said it will hire more U.S. workers this summer to staff french fry stations and cash registers, and it will bring in a new way to apply in an effort to draw in more young applicants.

The world’s largest burger chain said the company and its franchisees will hire about 250,000 people across its more than 14,000 U.S. restaurants for what is usually one of its busiest seasons of the year. That hiring figure accounts for typically high turnover.

McDonald’s will offer applications through Snapchat, the social media platform that allows users to post pictures or videos in 10-second snippets. The chain started accepting “Snaplications” in Australia last month, allowing potential employees to make video submissions with a special filter that shows them wearing a McDonald’s uniform. The video audition can then be submitted to McDonald’s Snapchat account. After that, McDonald’s will send back a link to the application and digital careers page.

“We thought Snaplications was a great way to allow us to meet job seekers where they are — their phones,” said Jez Langhorn, McDonald’s USA’s senior director of human resources.

Snapchat Still Has a Strong Case to Make About Its Audience Despite Instagram’s Assault

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Snap Inc., the newly public corporate parent of Snapchat, makes its money by telling advertisers that it has a base of young, obsessed users who can’t be reached as easily anywhere else.

That claim has met more skepticism lately as Facebook’s applications rush to copy Snapchat’s most popular feature — a tool that allows people to upload video snippets of their day, which disappear after 24 hours. The copycat feature has been most popular on Facebook’s Instagram, where it’s used by 200 million people daily, more than Snapchat’s entire app.

But Snapchat can still say it has a unique offering, according to App Annie. The app data firm measured user behavior during the fourth quarter and said that on an average day, 35% of Snapchat’s daily users in the U.S. aren’t reachable on Facebook that same day, and 46% can’t be found on Instagram. About 61% of Snapchat’s fans aren’t watching YouTube on a given day, either. Snap said it had 60 million daily active users in the fourth quarter in the U.S. and Canada.

While many people use multiple social media apps to communicate with friends, the finding could help Snap sell ads in a lucrative market that’s increasingly dominated by Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which owns YouTube. The company, which will give its first public quarterly earnings report next week, must prove to advertisers that it’s a long-term investment, not just an experimental venue.

Though Snapchat’s features are being copied, the app remains unique in an important way: there are no likes or sharing of content, as on Facebook’s apps. So people tend to use Snapchat for more ephemeral moments, while they use Facebook and Instagram to craft an image of themselves. That’s how advertisers should think about their choice, said Harry Kargman, chief executive officer of Kargo, which manages mobile advertising for media companies.

“Do you want to be in the aspirational environment of Instagram or do you want to be in the real, true peer-to-peer environment of Snapchat?” Mr. Kargman said. “Those are two very different purposes.”

Snapchat Opens Up Its Ad Business Even More to Help Brands Buy Geofilter Ads Automatically

snapchat-geofilters-api-01-CONTENT-2017-840x460Snapchat wants brands to buy a lot of geofilters that layer fun text and graphics over users’ photos and videos. On Monday, the app opened up its API (application programming interface) a bit more, letting brands buy the location-based promos automatically.

More than 15 of Snapchat’s ad partners in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada, including Amobee and Videology, are now pitching sponsored geofilters to agencies and brands, as well as the full-screen, vertical video ads that run alongside stories and Discover content. Until now, advertisers have purchased branded geofilters through Snapchat’s self-service buying tool. The API is Snapchat’s version of programmatic technology that plugs tech companies into the platform to manage campaign spend, data, targeting and creative for advertisers.

In theory, the ad-tech vendors can help brands buy bigger ad packages that include both formats and automatically manage the targeting of geofilters to make sure they run at specific locations and times. Meanwhile, creative firms like VaynerMedia will develop creative templates to help brands design custom messaging for their geofilters.

In recent months, Facebook has relentlessly copied a number of Snapchat’s features, including geo-tagged stickers, and the move to open up more sponsored geofilters could help Snap keep its advantage. According to eMarketer, the app is expected to make nearly $1 billion from advertising this year, up from $404 million in 2016.

Read full article here.